Coronavirus: Cabinet to meet on Monday night for review of economic rescue package

Ministers have been summoned for a Cabinet meeting on Monday night, which is expected to discuss a fresh injection of economic aid to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus

Robert Abela will be presiding over a Cabinet meeting on Monday night
Robert Abela will be presiding over a Cabinet meeting on Monday night

Ministers have been summoned for a Cabinet meeting later tonight as government scrambles to adjust the economic rescue package it unveiled last week.

Prime Minister Robert Abela and Economy Minister Silvio Schembri have had a number of meetings with unions and employer representatives over the weekend. The individual meetings continued on Monday, with Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association President Tony Zahra describing the talks as “positive”.

Government unveiled a €1.8 billion package last week but the measures were widely criticised by unions and employers that said it fell short of what was needed to save jobs.

The bulk of the package was non-direct benefits - €700 million in deferred taxation to aid cash flow and €900 million in guarantees to enable businesses to access bank finance.

The cash injection amounted to €210 million, distributed in various measures to help sustain jobs and cushion the impact of Covid-19 on businesses.

Cabinet is expected to be given a rundown of the talks with the social partners and how the rescue package can be improved.

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